Tidbits

Medicine Wheel - The Sacred Hoop
Native Americans view life as a continuous cycle and that all things are interrelated. This ceremonial tool symbolizes 4 directions, the 4 Grandfathers, 4 winds, 4 elements (earth, air, fire and water) and the 4 peoples of the Earth (red, white, black and yellow), 
the 4 stages of life (childhood, adolescence, adulthood and elders). The wheel also teaches the 4 aspects of our nature (physical, 
mental, emotional and spiritual). It teaches people about their place in the universe and their relationship to all things created by The Creator. 
This is a generalization of what the symbol represents, and not a disclosure of any one nation. Walk in Beauty and Balance around the wheel. Experience all things through gratitude. Live in Peace and Harmony. 

The Ten Indian Commandments
• Treat the Earth and all that dwell thereon with respect
• Remain close to the Great Spirit
• Show great respect for your fellow beings
• Work together for the benefit of all mankind
• Give assistance and kindness wherever needed
• Do what you know to be right
• Look after the well-being of mind and body
• Dedicate a share of your efforts to the greater good
• Be truthful and honest at all times
• Take full responsibility for your actions

Way of the Circle
These guides have been followed for many years by  - Native American people as a way of life.
1. When you first arise in the morning, give thanks to the Great Spirit, to the four directions, to Mother Earth, to Father Sky and to all our relations, for life within you, and for all life around you.
2. Remember that all things are connected. All things have a purpose, everything has its place. Honor others by treating them with kindness and consideration. Always assume that a guest is tired, cold and hungry, make sure to provide him or her with the best of what you have to offer.
3. If you have more than you need for yourself and your family consider performing a “Giveaway” by distributing your possessions to others who are in need.
4. You are bound by your word, which cannot be broken except by permission of the other party.
5. Seek harmony and balance in all things. It is always important to remember where you are in relation to everything else, and to contribute to the circle in what way you can by being a helper and a protector of life. Sharing is the best part of receiving. Practice silence and patience in all things as a reflection of self control, endurance, dignity, reverence and an inner calm. Practice modesty in all things, avoid boasting and loud behavior that attracts attention to you. Know the things that contribute to your well being and those things that lead you to destruction.
6. Always ask permission and give something for everything that is received, including and honoring all living things.
7. Be aware of what is around you, what is inside of you, and always show respect. Treat every person from the tiniest child to the oldest elder with respect. Do not stare at others, drop your eyes as a sign of respect, especially in the presence of elders, teachers, or other honored persons. (There is a difference in staring and looking a person in the eyes.) Always give a sign of greeting when passing a friend or stranger. Never criticize or talk about someone in a harmful, negative way. Never touch something that belongs to someone else without permission. Respect the privacy of every person, making sure to never intrude upon someone’s silent moments or personal space. Never interfere in the affairs of another by asking questions or offering advice. Never interrupt others. In another person’s home, follow his or her customs rather than your own. Treat with respect all things held sacred to others whether you understand these things or not.
8. Treat earth as your mother, give to her, protect her, honor her, show deep respect for those in the animal world, plant world and mineral world.
9. Listen to guidance offered by all of your surroundings, expect this guidance to come in the form of prayer, dreams, quiet solitude, and in the words and deeds of wise elders and friends.
10. Listen with your heart.
11. Learn from experience, and always be open to new ones.
12. Always remember that a smile is something sacred  to be shared.
13. Live each day as it comes.

MORNING RITUAL FOUR SACRED DIRECTIONSTake time to make the world your sacred place. Stand in the middle of the circle of life and give thanks to the four directions. Take your time and attune to the spirit and power of each direction. Look at the gifts each direction gives you. Learn and appreciate each direction and make it personal. Deepen your relationship with the four directions and with the whole of life they form together.First thing each day. Honor and offer sage to the Creator then.
-We face east and say: Great Spirit Keeper of Light, come to us out of the East, with the power of sun. Let us remember always that you gave us the gift of a new day.
-We face south and say Great Spirit Keeper of Creation, send us the warm soothing winds from the south. Unfold us like the gentle breeze that unfolds the leaves on the trees. Pray  for peace in the world today.
-We face west and say Great Spirit Keeper of Life Giving , let us remember every day and that the moment will come when our sun will go down. Let us unwind and make us rest for another day.
-We face north and say Great Sprit Keeper of Love come to us with the power from the North. Make us courageous when the cold winds fall upon us. Let us feel the great white cleansing wind. Offer sage to Mother Earth and finally to Father Sky.Then offer sage to yourself, first to the heart, then to the mind, then around the body and finally back to the heart.

Creator of All Things! Great and Eternal Mystery of Life.
We give thanks for the beauty You put in every single one of Your creations. We are grateful that You made water, every stone, plant, creature, and human being, a perfect and whole part of the circle of life. We are thankful that You have allowed us to see the strength and beauty in everything. Our humble request is that all of the children of the Earth will learn to see the same perfection in themselves and surrounding.

Mitakuye Oyasin
We need to go back in time before the industrialization of our people, when all indigenous people knew their place in the web of life.This web is connected to all things, this is where you will find the lodges of the west, the north, the east, the south, and below your mother earth, and above your spirit father. All people come together in this sacred circle and family as one. We are the healers of this and the next generation, as the generations before us. We complete the circle when we find our significance in life with all things around us. We are one with all, and all is one with us. We need to respect all and see creator in all things including earth, air, fire, water, man, woman, child, and the animals. The disappearance of even the tinniest creature brings loneliness to the souls of all the directions. Many creatures have already disappeared and they are missed, so too the quality of our water, air and soil are disappearing and this effects every thing and every one in body and spirit. These things are directly connected to the all life force. Let us put the small me aside in order to expanse rebirth in the “Mitakuye Oyasin” meaning we are all related. Only then can we be reborn into another state of consciousness which connects us to all and all to us.

Your Path
Everything is laid out for you
Your Path is straight ahead of you.
Sometimes it’s invisible but it’s there.
You may not know where it’s going,
but you have to follow the Path.
It’s the Path to the Creator.
It’s the only Path there is.
-Chief Leon Shenandoah

ZUNI FETISHES - SPIRITS IN STONE
It's an object believed to have power to protect or aid its owner. The fetish helps each one of us to honor the mysteries of nature which exists in the fetish carvings of the Native American people. Fetishes are now in demand by all people to guide us and comfort us along our path. Since the beginning of time, fetishes have played an important role in the life of Native Americans. The earliest fetishes in archeological excavations date back to the 7th century. There is no word for “fetish” in Zuni. The term “we-me” is sufficient, meaning animal.Fetishes may be made in any form and of any material. They can be used as a pocket fetish, table fetish, jewelry and large sculptures. 

Heartline/Lifeline. Some fetishes have a line of inlaid stone which forms the shape of an arrow. It begins at the mouth where breath gives life and points to the soul where faith and inner strength preside.
Prayer Bundle. Some fetishes have medicine bundles tied to the back which adds additional power. Shells, feathers, carved stones, antlers and other small objects can be used and tied with sinew. Purpose. Regardless of the form or material a fetish has one dominant purpose: to assist man against real or potential problems. The problems can be those of the mind, the body or the universe. The power of the fetish is believed to derive from the animal’s spirit that resides within. According to Zuni belief, all true fetishes are petrifications of the animals they represent. Though the owner of a fetish can be an individual, a family, a clan, a kiva society or an entire tribe, the care of a fetish is always the responsibility of an individual.
Care of Fetishes. Special care must be taken to see that the fetish is properly fed, admired, and cared for. Fetishes are believed to feed on cornmeal while they are kept in a special pot or pouch. Ground turquoise is often mixed with the cornmeal. It may be dusted with a dry cloth. A properly nurtured fetish can assist its possessor in better performance, and in accomplishing tasks.
Power & strength. The strongest fetishes are generally animals of prey. These are acknowledged as the most powerful providers in life so they are likewise accepted as having the greatest fetish powers. The power and strength of a fetish is obtained by placing the nostrils of the fetish to ones’ mouth and taking deep breaths.